Marvel movies are plentiful and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is huge. The first 22 films have been labelled as the “Infinity Saga” by Kevin Feige, Marvel Studio’s president, and with a long list of intertwining tales, it can be daunting when approaching the series. With over 20 movies building up to the Endgame finale, it can be difficult figuring out where to start and figuring out which movies are truly essential to understanding the plot. So to help you out, here’s a guide to all the movies that you absolutely need to watch before jumping into Avengers: Endgame.
The Avengers (2012)
This movie saw Thanos’ first appearance in the MCU. Although he’s only seen in the movie’s post-credit sequence, it does lay out the foundation to his eventual rise to power and destruction across the universe. One of the Infinity Stones, the Space Stone is also a significant part movie, as Loki used it for his invasion of Earth.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Ironically, the franchise that had the least amount of crossover with the rest of the MCU is one of the most important. Despite the group only meeting the Avengers in Infinity War, you should definitely watch the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie as it helps to solidify the story. The movie is the first to properly introduce Thanos and his relationship with Gamora which plays a big role in later films. In one scene, the Collector also explains the power and history of the Infinity Stones, which is essential to understanding a significant portion of the plot.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Civil War is one of the more significant Marvel movies as it explains the fallout that caused different superheroes to split into two factions. Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Tony Stark (Iron Man) both survived the snap so we can potentially expect a reunion in Endgame.
Doctor Strange (2016)
Stephen Strange was one of the victims to the snap, but with his ability and understanding to warp time and space, it won’t be unusual to see him come back. The movie also shows off the power of the Time Stone, potentially making it the key to defeating Thanos and resurrecting the rest of the universe.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Peter Parker’s fate was one of the more significant scenes in Infinity War. It’s a grim reminder that he’s still a young teen, and the father/son relationship between him and Tony Stark is one of the more emotional bonds in the MCU, which is explored in Homecoming. The next Spider-Man movie is Far From Home which will be released in July and Kevin Feige has hinted that the movie is set after Endgame.
Thor Ragnarok (2017)
Thor Ragnarok is one of the more lighter and comedic Marvel movies to come out. It’s one of the better Thor movies and it’s a definite twist as we seeing Thor’s personality develop. Ragnarok is also essential to understanding how Thor’s powers have gotten stronger and how he’s become the most powerful Avengers (excluding Captain Marvel, maybe). The ending also explains how he came across the Guardians in Infinity War.
Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther came out only three months before Infinity War and was one of the most popular Marvel movies released to date. Wakanda was a vital location in Infinity War and we’re likely to see more of it. With the Black Panther sequel on the way, this is definitely not the last we’ve seen of Wakanda and its people.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Ant-Man wasn’t present during Infinity War. While this movie may seem irrelevant, the final scene is crucial. It’s been speculated that he could play an important role in Endgame as he was seen in the latest trailer.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Of course, seeing Infinity War before Endgame is an absolute must. Endgame was originally announced as just “Infinity War Part 2″ so you definitely need to see this before jumping onto the finale – it just won’t make sense otherwise. Keep in mind that Infinity War and Endgame were both written and shot simultaneously. So a lot of the questions and cliffhangers from Infinity War were deliberate. How strong is Captain Marvel? Is Gamora’s fate set in stone? Where was Hawkeye? We’ll get all the answers this April.
Captain Marvel (2019)
With the post-credits scene of Infinity War hinting her significance and the latest movie and trailers to come out in March, it’s easy to see that Captain Marvel plays a huge and significant part in Endgame. What her part will be, who knows? The Captain Marvel movie shows off her pure strength and powers but no one is sure how this will come into play. It’s important to watch this movie before Endgame so that you can experience Captain Marvel’s abilities, personality and get an idea of how she’d interact with the rest of the characters.